HistoryofScience.com Blog

Monday, February 9, 2015

Sex Remains a Topic of Wide Interest--Even Antique Sex!

In November 2014 I purchased at auction the only complete copy in private hands of the first edition of the first English sex manual, Aristoteles Masterpiece, a small volume published in London in 1684. Copies of this work were mostly read out of existence, nearly all of the few that survive are incomplete. At the time of purchase I knew that this book was likely to receive publicity in connection with the California International Antiquarian Book Fair in February 2015, at which we planned to exhibit,  For that show we issued our 51st catalogue, which included our description of Aristoteles Masterpiece.  The catalogue is available at his link. We also provided a press release about our book that was used by the publicist for the book fair.

What I did not expect was the extent of the publicity about our book that would be generated on the Internet. Among the most widely read articles was Alison Flood's "Inflame her to venery with wanton kisses: the joy of sex, 1684-style," published in TheGuardian.com on February 6, 2015. When I wrote this post on February 9th that article had been liked on Facebook more than 17, 000 times, and there were over 160 comments posted.

Our book was discussed by Fang-Ling in her blog read in China by tens of thousands of
people, and it was even reported by our London colleagues at Peter Harrington in their Newsletter 21 available at this link.  
I guess all this proves what we already know: that sex remains a topic of continuing interest--even antique sex!

posted by Jeremy Norman @ 7:43 PM   6 Comments


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